Believe it or not, not everyone gets to take off before, after or even during the Holidays. Plus even if they have the time off, there are many people who are away from family and friends and find it hard to find the joy and cheer so many take for granted. Unless you have Cindy Lou Who working for you, you might want to try some of these ideas:
1. Have and ugly sweater/hat contest. Challenge even your shyest employees with participating by offering a great reward (time off for shopping, gift cards, etc). Post pictures of both the folks that work onsite and those that don’t. Make sure you have someone judge who doesn’t work directly with anyone on the team. Good Morning America recently did the same and it was a great success.
2. Play some music. Have someone bring in their ipod and ipod player and play a variety of Holiday music, both classics and contemporary. Maybe even form a caroling group during the lunch hour or break time. Singing is like smiling, no matter how you feel, it will lift your spirits.
3. Have a bake off. Seems like everyone likes to bake during the holidays. Even all those people working through it, probably threw something together when they had a moment. Everyone gets to taste everyone else’s traditional treats and you get to name another winner in the process.
4. Have a pizza party. Spring for pizza at least one day during that week. It’s a great food for people that might not be able to break all at the same time. Who doesn’t love cold pizza? And for those folks working offsite or from home, have a pizza delivered. These days they have both vegan and gluten free pizza so everyone should be able to participate.
5. Give the gift of giving. You don’t have to buy everyone a gift, but take the time to reach out and thank your employees. Send them a personal note or make a phone call and thank them for their hard work and dedication throughout the year and especially during the holidays. Be empathetic to how they must feel having to work or be away from their families. Sometimes the smallest gestures have the greatest impact.
Having to work during any holiday is not easy, but I think it’s especially hard during Christmas. None of these ideas take much time or cost much money and hopefully, they start your creative juices going and you can think of many more ways to bring some spirit to the office.
I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday!